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Why rest is key to smashing Tough Mudder

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Though some people would have you believe more is always better, the secret to any sensible training plan is factoring in enough rest periods so your body can totally recover between each session.

Why rest?

‘Recovery is essential for your body to benefit from training,’ says Henry Howe, fitness expert and osteopath at Reebok Sports Club, Canary Wharf. ‘It's also vital for your mental wellbeing. Training for a Tough Mudder is hard so you need some time to switch off and ensure you don't get sick of it.’

Dr Michael Lee is a personal trainer based at Sheffield Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy Clinic. ‘Cardio training depletes glucose from the muscles, liver and blood and replenishment is essential for muscle contraction during the next bout of exercise,’ says Lee. ‘On the other hand, resistance training produces micro-trauma in your muscle fibre, which takes time to repair.’

How much rest?

Sony’s Lifelog app is the perfect tool for monitoring how much you’ve been training, and how many rest days you should take. Log all your training sessions with SmartWatch 3 by Sony, which syncs seamlessly with the app on your Xperia™ Z3+. Soon you’ll start spotting performance patterns that will help you identify exactly how much rest your body needs after a hard session to get back to firing at all cylinders.

Although you should always listen to your body, don’t get alarmed by post-training aches and pains. ‘Your first few training sessions will produce a delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS),’ says Howe. This occurs between 24 and 72 hours post-exercise and during this time it’s totally normal for muscle stiffness and soreness to kick in.’

Resting for three days in this initial phase is important for the body to adapt to the neurological and musculoskeletal demands of the exercise. After the first week of training, your DOMS will get less severe as your body adapts to training. Once adapted, you should increase the intensity and load of the exercises to continue to make progress.

What kind of rest?

Sadly, rest days aren’t just about sitting on your arse. ‘The most effective way to ‘rest’ is to do light sessions with no weights, such as cycling and swimming,’ says Howe. It can be hard to reign yourself in and know exactly how much effort you’re putting in to each session. Set a target speed or session length on your SmartWatch 3 or just set a step target for the day, which you can monitor using the Lifelog app on your Xperia Z3+. ‘Maintaining low intensity muscular contraction will also support the transportation of nutrition to the areas that need recovery,’ says Lee.

So there you have it. Rest is vital if you want to complete your Tough Mudder training without any hitches, active rest even more so. It will also ensure you’re in the best shape you possibly can be. Do it with SmartWear from Sony and take the guesswork out of the equation.

Find out more about the Xperia Z3+ from Sony (opens in new tab) and its benefits for your Tough Mudder preparations

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